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dessert taco bar using oreos, colored coconut, mashed up cupcake and mini m&ms. Link to free printables too.

Cinco de Mayo – Dessert Taco Bar

What’s better than a taco bar? Well, for me not much, but for the kids (especially Hudson), this dessert taco bar was everything! I came across the cutest printables from The Littles and Me that I just knew I had to use. When another friend, Maggie at Just Create Today, posted the cutest oreo cookie tacos I knew I needed to make a dessert taco bar. I just used food coloring and shredded coconut to make the cheese and lettuce, a smashed up chocolate cupcake for the meat and mini red m&m’s for the tomatoes. The hardest part was actually cutting the golden oreos in half – they kept breaking. For all the exact details and instructions on making the tacos, check out this post on Just Create Today. Then I set-up a little taco bar and let the kids get to work assembling their tacos.

dessert taco bar using oreos, colored coconut, mashed up cupcake and mini m&ms. Link to free printables too.

Hudson was really into it and Luc just wanted to eat everything, so he grabbed a taco shell and went to town on the “meat.” The tacos looked so realistic and this was a really fun activity for us to do together. None of us are fans of coconut (if I think of a substitute, I will let you know, but it just looks so realistic that we had to include it) so we just scooped our toppings off before eating our tacos and they were delicious!

dessert taco bar using oreos, colored coconut, mashed up cupcake and mini m&ms. Link to free printables too.

The next night, for Cinco de Mayo I re-used my taco bar sign and we had my family over for tacos, margaritas and the rest of the chocolate cupcakes. Earlier in the week I came across a Cinco de Mayo box in the garage that had all sorts of cool things in it from a party I threw back in college (hoarding for the win!). I found the cutest little drink charms that also worked perfect as cupcake toppers. The best find though was a Fiesta Playlist. There were a few gems on it that made me smile like Macarena and Livin’ la Vida Loca and the boys and I had a blast dancing around the house together.

Cinco de Mayo playlist

It was also National Scrapbooking Day this weekend, so I scored some new digital scrapbooking products at a great price and quickly created a fun scrapbook page of our Cinco de Mayo celebrations.

cinco de mayo digital scrapbook page using Simple Stories by the Creative Copycat

every blonde needs a brunette best friend scrapbook layout by the creative copycat

Every Blonde Needs a Brunette Best Friend Scrapbook Page

Happy Scrapbooking Sunday! If you follow me on instagram, you know I post a scrapbooking layout every Sunday. I’m a bit behind on blogging the scrapbooking pages though, sorry. I’d love for you to follow me on Instagram so you can see all my creations and hear all of my tips. 🙂

This page was inspired by a layout made by Leanne Allinson for Bella Blvd (if you click on the link you can see her layout). I just fell in love with her page and knew it would be a perfect starting point for a photo I’ve been wanting to scrapbook for a while.

every blonde needs a brunette best friend scrapbook layout by the creative copycat

I don’t have the original of this photo, this is a scan, but it is one of my absolute favorites. I have known my best friend since birth because our moms are best friends. We took ballet class together as kids, which is when this photo was taken. Over the years, my best friend and I have moved away from each other, gone to different schools and occasionally been at different stages in life, but we have always remained best friends. We have been there for all of life’s biggest moments, including our weddings, which were only a few weeks apart and the births of our kids. I am so very blessed to have a best friend like her and this page is one of my favorite pages I think I have ever made.

Digital scrapbook documenting baby's first year - with weekly photos and text. Products are Bella Blvd Baby Boy Digital Collection

Hudson’s First Year in Weekly Pictures Album

I am so excited to share this project with you. This has been on my to-do list for so long and once I finally got started, I finished it in three weeks! I don’t think I have ever finished a photo related project that quickly before.

A friend of mine, Jackie, who blogs over at The Howard Bunch shared the idea of taking weekly photos of your kids their first year. I fell in love with the idea because a lot happens each week and babies change so quickly. I took the weekly photos and kept notes on my phone, then posted each weekly update to my personal blog. I had always planned to get one of those blog books printed, but just never did it. I finally looked into it last month and was underwhelmed by the options and difficulty of getting just the specific posts I wanted into a book (not to mention the hassle of importing my blog because it is private). I then turned to Shutterfly, which I normally love, but again it just didn’t feel right for this project and after making a few pages I realized it was going to take me forever to create and cost me a fortune to purchase. I also considered traditional scrapbooking since I had already printed the pictures for Hudson’s 1st birthday, but because I had so much text to go with each picture I knew formatting and printing it for each layout would be a long process. So, I decided to try digital scrapbooking. I have never made digital scrapbooks before, so I purchased a kit from my favorite scrapbooking company, Bella Blvd, and for my first page I figured I would duplicate a page made by Megan Klauer just to get a feel for how it works.

Digital scrapbook page originally designed by Megan Klauer and re-created by the Creative Copycat - using products from the Bella Blvd Baby Boy Digital Collection

I was blown away by how easy it was and how quick too. So with that, I was off. I kept my pages simple as I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on this project and I knew the previous options I had looked at had been very basic and I am so happy with how it turned out. Plus it was so fun to re-read my notes about Hudson throughout his first year – so many fun milestones, funny moments and challenges that I had already forgotten. I was also cracking up because their was a lot of text! I am not really a journalist (i.e. I despise it when I scrapbook and have layouts from years ago with the journaling spots still blank), but this was totally that first time mommy – I want to remember every little detail- thing and it makes me smile to remember being in that stage. I realize now that I have kids how important telling the story is in addition to the pictures and I really hope that Hudson will love reading all about his first year when he grows up.

Digital scrapbook documenting baby's first year - with weekly photos and text. Products are Bella Blvd Baby Boy Digital Collection

Here is some of the info if you would like to make an album like this of your own.

-I just took notes in my phone as soon  as possible after things happened – then combined the notes into weekly blurbs when I had the time.

-I used the polaroid frame and text in the free version of Ribbet to format my photos.

-I used Panstoria Artisan 4 to make my pages (If you are a digital scrapper, I’d love to hear what program you use)

-I plan to order my 12×12 prints from Persnickety Prints

If you have any other questions, please let me know. 🙂

koala love scrapbook page using bella blvd zoo crew and tiny tots and watercolors

Koala Love Scrapbook Page

Life has been a bit hectic since we returned from Australia. We left the day after Christmas so our house is still an explosion of Christmas decorations and presents. Hudson and I are still recovering from our colds turned ear and chest infections. Luc has joined in on the fun with fevers and an ear infection (which means lots of sleepless nights for me) and Nic has been on the cusp of his cough/cold turning into something more serious since we got home from out trip. As you can imagine our house is a disaster and I have a fairly long to do list, but squeezing in some me time and getting crafty always helps my mood and I just felt like it was much-needed. Plus, I set a little goal for myself that I want to try to post a scrapbooking related post every Sunday, which has been a great motivator for me to find time throughout the week to scrapbook.

koala love scrapbook page using bella blvd zoo crew and tiny tots

For this page, I made up a few rules for myself. I wanted to use paints of some sort, which is totally out of my comfort zone and I wanted to get everything completed while my husband took our boys to the park, which meant I had about one to two hours total. I picked out a few papers and got my pictures ready the night before, then once I had the house to myself I got to work. I liked the time constraint and deadline because I am an over-thinker, but I just got to work and didn’t over analyze anything. I tried both illustrated faith acrylic paints and artist’s loft watercolors and liked how the watercolor page turned out better. I know it isn’t perfect, but I am really happy with how it turned out.

koala love scrapbook page using bella blvd zoo crew and tiny tots and watercolors

I did find myself wanting to change a few things as I looked at it on my instagram post, but I had to stop myself immediately. I am going for enjoyment in the process and completion of projects not perfection and I definitely accomplished my goals with this page. I  think I might need to create little challenges like this for myself in the future. 🙂

yeary ornament scrapbook page using Bella Blvd by thecreativecopycat

Yearly Ornaments Scrapbook Page

Every year, we select a family ornament for our tree. They are some of my most treasured possessions and I love sharing stories about each one and admiring them on our tree all December long. The boys love ornaments and decorating the tree as much as I do, but they haven’t quite grasped the concept of fragile and irreplaceable yet, so on top of placing these at the top of our tree, for added insurance, I decided to document them. I love that these ornaments tell the story of our little family. Nic and I in love, finding out we were expecting just before Christmas, becoming a family of three and now our family of four. 🙂 I also included a special ornament from each of the boys’ first Christmas because I felt they were a key part of the story and I needed to fill a few more boxes. 😉 The kids select an ornament every year and at some point, I would like to make pages documenting all of our special ornaments, but for now, this is at least a start. 🙂

I got my layout inspiration from this gorgeous page by Katie Rose. I love collages and knew this would work perfect.

pinterest photo of bella blvd layout by Katie Rose

I took a picture of each ornament on white cardstock, then used befunky to place them into a collage. I left the center blank and printed this out at 8.5×8.5.

holiday ornament collage for scrapbooking page

Then I selected papers and embellishments from the Bella Blvd Make it Merry, Holly Jolly  and CHRISTmas collections. One quick tip, that you will love if you are a paper hoarder like me. If I am layering squares of paper, I always cut a square out of the bottom layer first using my trimmer and save it to use in another layout. This is what it looks like from the back. I usually play it safe so I make my square pretty small. Just slide your paper in your trimmer, pick up your blade until it is where you want to start your cut, then push it into the paper and pull it down, being sure to stop a few inches from the bottom of the paper. Turn your paper and repeat, until you have cut out your square.

scrapbook tip - cut out square to save paper

Then I assembled my page using some pop dots for a little dimension. I’m so happy with how it turned out and now I can worry just a little less about my precious ornaments as I know that one way or another the story of them will be passed on for generations to come.

yearly ornament details scrapbook page by thecreativecopycat



scrapbook layout 4 ways using bella blvd by the creative copycat

Scrapbooking Layout 4 Ways

Happy Scrapbooking Sunday. I have a quick tip to share that helps me create more pages faster. When I find a layout I like, I make 4 versions of it at the same time. For example, this layout was from a Bella Blvd kit and I just love it, especially the fact that it allows me to get so many pictures on the page.

scrapbook layout 12x12 using Bella Blvd by the Creative Copycat

Instead of just making the kit and moving on, I chose four different themes and events from different years so the layout wouldn’t be included in the same album, then made all four at the same time. I picked out, formatted and printed all the pictures together, I typed up and printed all the journaling together and cut all the paper together, then assembled each page and added all the little embellishments and details. Using this method allowed me to create four scrapbook pages in a little more than the time it would have taken me to make one.

autumn 12x12 layout using bella blvd Hello Autumn by the Creative Copycat

december scrapbook layout 12x12 using bella blvd by the creative copycat

scrapbook layout 12x12 using Bella Blvd by the Creative Copycat

In case you are interested in creating this layout, here are the details:

Photo sizes: 2.5×3 (1), 4×3 (1), 2.75×2.75 (2), 3.75×3.75 (1)

Paper: 2 strips 4×11, 1 strip 1.25×11, 1 strip 1×11, 1 strip 0.5×11

scrapbook tips for busy moms

Scrapbooking Tips for Busy Moms

I love traditional scrapbooking, but as a mom it can be difficult to find the time. With our busy lives and the juggling of 10,000 things it can feel nearly impossible to find time to shower, let alone scrapbook, right? Once you fall behind too, it can be so overwhelming and difficult to jump back in that you just never do. I didn’t scrapbook much for the first few years of being a mom and it was hard to get back into it. I was overwhelmed and exhausted and whenever I had a few minutes I just found myself staring at my supplies feeling totally lost. I’m happy to say though, that for the past 9 months I have been scrapbooking pretty consistently and I have a few tips to share.

  1. Use kits, which are pre-designed pages that come with all the products needed to complete the page (minus basic crafting supplies) and step by step instructions. It is obviously very rewarding to create your own pages, but at this point in my life, I rarely have time for that. By the time I pick paper, coordinating embellishments and select my pictures, my time is up. I make a lot of kits these days because I can actually finish a page. I will usually start a kit while watching tv with my husband or on a craft day with Hudson and by the following week, I can usually be on to the next kit. I put this one first because when you haven’t scrapbooked in a while a kit is the perfect place to start. No thinking involved (which is an especially welcome blessing for this exhausted mama), it is fast and watching kits pile up and start to fill albums is a huge motivator. Some great places to look for kits are Paisleys and Polka Dots, Down to Details, ScraptiqueOut on A Limb Scrapbooking and Lotts to Scrap About.
  2. Do as much on your phone as possible-edit photos, make collages, etc. You have this little tool in your hand all the time so you might as well use it right? Especially since most of us take the majority of our photos on our phones these days,and we are already adding filters and making collages for apps like instagram and facebook, so we might as well print those photos out and use them.
  3. Try to find a space where you can leave your stuff out- I know I am so lucky to have a scrapbooking room, but even if you don’t have a dedicated room if you can find a dedicated space it will make a huge difference. That way if you find a few minutes of time, you can just pick up where you left off instead of using all that free time to put out and/or clean up your project
  4. Buy a printer and start printing your pictures at home. I bought a Canon PIXMA iX6820 Wireless Business Printer for under $150 (it was on sale) and it has been a game changer for me. I am not organized enough to plan ahead and order pictures, so being able to print out exactly what I need in the size I need while in my pajamas has made a huge difference in my productivity.
  5. Get the kids involved. My oldest son no longer naps so I have had to get creative with my crafting time. One day a week while his little brother naps, we craft. I give Hudson paper, punches, scissors, stickers, etc. and he loves it. Cutting paper into little tiny, impossible to vacuum pieces is one of his all time favorite activities. He has his own little stash of supplies in my scrapbooking room now and I can usually squeeze in about thirty minutes to an hour of crafting time.
  6. Try to attend a scrapbooking retreat or event annually. There is just something about being around other scrapbookers and having time to focus on something you love that can really re-spark your passion and get you motivated again.
  7. Use sketches or pages you like for inspiration. Scraplifting is totally encouraged in the scrapbooking community so take advantage. Follow scrapbook blogs, IG accounts and personal scrapbookers that you love or search on Pinterest and then copy away. The Bella Blvd blog even offers a monthly Project Sheet with step by step directions to copy a layout from one of their designers.
  8. Repeat layouts and designs. If you find a layout you like, re-use it. Your family isn’t going to notice, I promise.
  9. Read your scrapbooks as bedtime stories. Every few weeks, we pull out a scrapbook and look through it together as a family before bed. The kids love it and it really inspires me to keep creating.
  10. It’s better to be finished than to be perfect! This is the one I struggle with the most. I want every page to be amazing, but the most important thing is the pictures, the stories and people behind them.

Happy Scrapping!

10 scrapbook tips for busy moms

Do you have anything you would add to this list?  What works for you?

october fun scrapbook page using bella blvd by the creative copycat

October Fun Scrapbook Page

Yay for my first scrapbooking post!

I’m not sure why, but scrapbooking is probably the crafting area I am least confident in, which is sort of weird because I have been doing it the longest. I think part of it is because I want to save products for the perfect page or I’m nervous about making a mistake with my only sheet of a certain paper or maybe my brain is just fried from the other thousands of thoughts I have going on at any given moment by the time I get to scrapbooking (usually late at night after everyone is in bed). Whatever the reason, this is the area where I am the biggest copycat. Thankfully, the scrapbooking world seems to encourage “scraplifting” 😉

I’ve posted a little bit about scrapbooking on my instagram account and have already been getting questions. 🙂 I have a few tips and ideas I’d like to share with you in the coming weeks and months, and I will do my best to answer any questions, but for today, I’m just sharing this fun October layout I created for Hudson’s preschool album with one fun, but hopefully very helpful idea.

I don’t know about your kids, but Hudson brought home hundreds of crafts last year. By the last day of school, I had a drawer overflowing and piles of crafts throughout my house. I am a hoarder at heart and was struggling with tossing them out, so I decided to photograph them. I photographed everything, then picked out my favorites (which was still way too many) and tossed the rest.

*One tip I learned the hard way, is to leave space around the art when you take the photos. This will give you more freedom later when creating collages and/or re-sizing photos for your layout.*

I then created a scrapbook page for each month using photos the preschool gave us at the end of the year and the pictures I took of Hudson’s artwork. I used one of my favorite Laura Vegas layouts as inspiration and a variety of Bella Blvd papers and washi tapes. This page is actually quite simple, but I really love how it turned out. I love looking at Hudson’s art on the scrapbook page and it has helped me tremendously in being able to let go of the overwhelming stack of physical artwork I had taking over my house. I took my few favorite physical pieces of art and slipped them in 12×12 page protectors and included them in the photo album. It makes me happy to know that Hudson’s artwork is actually being admired instead of sitting in a box in my garage.


she loves color 2016 gift tag printable for ziploc

She Loves Color Event Recap

Last weekend my mom and I flew to Milwaukee for the first ever She Loves Color event. What an amazing and inspiring weekend! The event consisted of 6 classes from industry professionals over two days and a bonus Designer Day offering a la cart classes the day before the official event. The weekend was jam-packed and we were exhausted by the end, but in such a good way. We learned so much, made great friends and even squeezed in a bit of exploring.

she loves color 2016 backdrop

We took the red-eye Wednesday night, landed around 7:30 the next morning and went straight from the airport to our first class.

she loves color 2016 airport selfie

Our first class was a color-blocking layout class from Jill Yegerlehner the Owner and Creative Director of Jillibean Soup. We missed a chunk of this class because of our flight, but Jill was so sweet and did her best to help us catch up. The layouts were very cute and I should be able to finish them up at home.


We took the faithful planner girl workshop from Cori Spieker, the Reset Girl. A few times I found myself just listening to Cori talk instead of working on my own project because she was so inspiring. I love her message that it is never too late to reset your life. I sort of feel like I got to do a reset when I became a stay at home mom and I am now working towards creating the life I want.

she loves color 2016 cori reset girl class

Our third class of the day was the Bible Stations class with Shanna Noel from Illustrated Faith, where we learned techniques using ink, gelatos, watercolors, acrylic paints, markers and more.  This class was so fun and I learned so many new techniques. Shanna was very sweet and helped me to let go and have fun playing around with all the cool products. I even bought a set of acrylic paints so hopefully I will be brave and play around with them at home.

she loves color 2016 shanna noel illustrated faith class

To kick off the actual event, Stacy Julian, a scrapbook industry pioneer and founder of Big Picture Classes, spoke all about color at the opening ceremony. She talked about how color effects moods and how we shouldn’t follow rules regarding color because color is something you should feel. She informed us that life is too short for beige and encouraged us to live colorfully. 🙂 Stacy had the most amazing energy and her key-note speech was a huge success.

she loves color 2016 opening ceremony

We started off Day 1 with Stephanie Smokovich’s class. Stephanie is the Owner and Creative Director of Bella Blvd as well as the one responsible for making this whole event happen. I am so impressed that she hosted the event and taught three full days of classes while pregnant and still had a smile on her face and positive attitude the entire weekend. I admire her and the company she has built so much! I am definitely a Bella Blvd. Superfan and I can’t wait to show you this project once I finish it. It is oh so cute and a pretty genius idea too!

she loves color 2016 stephanie's class bella blvd

Next we took class with Amy Tan, an award-winning designer and Creative Director of Amy Tangerine. Amy posted the most beautiful quote on her instagram last week, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself” that I feel really sums up my blog and my mission. I am taking little bits of inspiration from all around me and creating a better version of myself. I just had to tell Amy how inspiring the quote was and how it came at just the right time. She was so sweet and playing with watercolors in her class was so fun. My kids watercolor all the time, but I enjoyed it so much that I think I might start joining them.

she loves color 2016 amy class details

she loves color 2016 amy class group photo

To end the first day, we got the most gorgeous traveler notebook planner from Webster’s Pages and we made a traveler’s notebook. The class was taught by Laura Graff, Creative Director at Weber’s Pages.

she loves color 2016 laura class

she loves color 2016 laura

That night we did a bunch of really cute make and takes at the Local Bazar. While we were there, Amy told me she wanted to create a quote for me. I got to design the background and pick the quote, then Amy did her magic using the new ipad lettering on her iPad Pro. Isn’t that so cool?!

she loves color 2016 amy tangerine quote create the life you want ipad lettering ipad pro

We started day 2, with a class from our keynote speaker, Stacy Julian. Here is the quote she shared in her class, “Feeling at home with ourselves and being able to create a spirit of place that nourishes us physically, emotionally and spiritually is a goal worthy of our highest priority.” Isn’t that beautiful?! Stacy’s class was so fun, she is a really cool person and just uplifting to me around.

she loves color 2016 stacy's class

Then we took the second part of Stephanie Smokovichs’ class. We will have a full album of 12×12 pages when it is done, which is really exciting!

she loves color 2016 stephanie class 2

Our last class was with Cynthea Sandoval, Owner and Creative Director of Doodlebug Design. We made a very cute, tropical book. This will be perfect for a Hawaii trip!

she loves color 2016 doodlebug class with cynthea

All of the classes were amazing and the projects were all different and fabulous, but I think the coolest part of the event is really getting to know the teachers. The event felt so intimate and the teachers were all so friendly and down to earth. These women are at the top of their industry so getting to know them and see how kind they all are was in my opinion, the best part.

she loves color 2016 slc

We also got amazing swag bags, tons of prizes and incredible gifts from sponsors. One of the really unique and special things about this event was that each teacher designed something exclusively for the event. One of the event sponsors, Clique Kits also created custom flair and cards so we ended up with tons of products we can use to scrapbook the event. Receiving all those goodies was icing on the cake! Here are a few of the items designed exclusively for the event:

she loves color 2016 event exclusives

Throughout the event, you could earn balls for every $15 spent (I won’t tell you how many I had in there, but it was a lot. hehe) and then they gave hundreds of awesome prizes away the final night. I won a gorgeous lavender webster’s pages craftmate folio, a handmade travel journal from Shanna Noel of Illustrated Faith and a $50 gift card to!! For someone who had A LOT of luggage to get home the gift card was the perfect gift!! I can’t wait to use it!


We also made tons of new friends and enjoyed a little bit of the beauty of fall in Milwaukee, which was pretty exciting for this California gal. I loved all the colorful trees and crisp air. I am already looking forward to next year and want to try to stay an extra day so I can really see the city.

This Cali girl is loving all the fall colors in Milwaukee! #shelovescolor #shelovescolor2016 #milwaukee #fall #craftymom #thecreativecopycat

she loves color 2016 bloody mary

she loves color 2016 trees

she loves color 2016 fall colors

Cheers to the weekend! #shelovescolor #shelovescolor2016 #travel #milwaukee #thecreativecopycat

she loves color waterfront dinner

The weekend was incredible and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in paper crafting. If you are interested and would like more information you should follow shelovescolor on instagram and check out this post on the Bella Blvd site.

she loves color 2016 gift tag printable for ziploc

*I created these little gifts for my table mates and figured I would offer them here as a free printable. I hope you enjoy them.*